Princes di­vided

Queen ap­proves of split as broth­ers’ feud sim­mers

The Courier-Mail - - FRONT PAGE - STEPHEN DRILL IN LON­DON

THE Queen may have made peace with her grand­son, but mend­ing fences be­tween Princes Harry and Wil­liam may not be as easy. As the monarch gave Harry and Meghan per­mis­sion to live over­seas, re­ports say the princes’ re­la­tion­ship is “deeply dam­aged” — de­spite the pair deny­ing claims of “bul­ly­ing”.

A HEART­BRO­KEN Queen has gra­ciously let Prince Harry and Meghan Markle go their own way as she throws aside pro­to­col to save her fam­ily.

The Queen, 93, has al­lowed her grand­son and his wife a chance to start a new life in Canada with their baby Archie, is­su­ing an emo­tional state­ment yes­ter­day.

It comes amid claims of fu­ri­ous fighting be­tween Prince Wil­liam, 37, and Prince Harry, 35, with sparks fly­ing the night be­fore a polo game that was at­tended by both their wives and chil­dren.

The spat was so bit­ter, they have not been able to re­cover.

A 90-minute meet­ing be­tween the Queen, Prince Charles, Prince Wil­liam and Prince Harry sealed the royal di­vorce deal yes­ter­day.

“To­day my fam­ily had very con­struc­tive dis­cus­sions on the fu­ture of my grand­son and his fam­ily,” the Queen said.

“My fam­ily and I are en­tirely sup­port­ive of Harry and Meghan’s de­sire to cre­ate a new life as a young fam­ily.

“Although we would have pre­ferred them to re­main full­time work­ing mem­bers of the Royal Fam­ily, we re­spect and un­der­stand their wish to live a more in­de­pen­dent life as a fam­ily while re­main­ing a val­ued part of my fam­ily.”

There was de­bate whether the com­mon touch meant the Queen was plan­ning to strip them of their ti­tles of Duke and Duchess of Sus­sex. But that was dis­missed, with royal com­men­ta­tors say­ing it was a sign of how per­sonal the is­sue was to the Queen.

How­ever, mend­ing fences be­tween Prince Wil­liam and his brother may not be as easy.

The Sun news­pa­per, which broke the story about their Canada move, said that the pair’s re­la­tion­ship was “tense and deeply dam­aged”.

De­spite a united front re­ject­ing re­ports of bul­ly­ing be­hav­iour in state­ments overnight, Princess Diana’s boys are said to be at log­ger­heads.

“It’s ab­so­lutely heart­break­ing to see just how dam­aged Wil­liam and Harry’s re­la­tion­ship has be­come,” a source told The Sun.

“They’ll al­ways love each other as broth­ers, but right now things have never been so bad. Wil­liam feels be­trayed and let down by Harry. Harry feels like Wil­liam and Kate never gave Meghan a chance. And now they’re leav­ing the coun­try in this state.”

Mean­while, Meghan’s mother Do­ria Ragland has backed the cou­ple’s de­ci­sion to walk out on the roy­als.

“Do­ria is very much about be­ing true to one­self and so of course she will con­tinue to en­cour­age Meghan to take the road less trav­elled,” a friend of Meghan’s told the Daily Mail.

There were few de­tails of how the cou­ple would be­come part-time roy­als, with se­cu­rity and fi­nances still up in the air, but with an­other prom­ise of more news within days.

“Harry and Meghan have made clear that they do not want to be re­liant on pub­lic funds in their new lives,” the Queen said.

“It has there­fore been agreed that there will be a pe­riod of tran­si­tion in which the Sus­sexes will spend time in Canada and the UK.

“These are com­plex mat­ters for my fam­ily to re­solve, and there is some more work to be done, but I have asked for fi­nal de­ci­sions to be reached in the com­ing days.”

Prince Harry and Meghan have been stay­ing rent-free at a mul­ti­mil­lion-dol­lar home on Van­cou­ver Is­land in Canada dur­ing a six-week break, with Meghan ex­pected to stay there. The cou­ple’s de­sire to pay their own way has com­pli­cated the dis­cus­sions.

It re­mains un­clear what work they could do and whether they may be re­stricted from spruik­ing prod­ucts be­cause of their royal links.

Broad­caster Piers Mor­gan was scathing of the cou­ple.

“BREAK­ING: Harry/Me

ghan have suc­cess­fully bul­lied the Queen into let­ting them have their cake & eat it,” he tweeted fol­low­ing the Queen’s state­ment.

And he crit­i­cised Prince Harry fol­low­ing a newly sub­ti­tled ver­sion of The Lion King premiere in Lon­don in July sur­fac­ing this week.

In the video, Prince Harry says Meghan was avail­able to do voiceover work for Dis­ney to its chief ex­ec­u­tive Bob Iger.

The com­pany gave Meghan voiceover work in ex­change for a do­na­tion to a wildlife char­ity Ele­phants With­out Bor­ders.

“The more you watch this, the more cringe-mak­ing it gets,” Mor­gan said. “Es­pe­cially when you know Harry missed a big Royal Marines (he’s their Cap­tain Gen­eral) me­mo­rial ser­vice to be at this Lion King premiere, hus­tling his wife’s voiceover skills to the boss of Dis­ney.”

How­ever, Prince Harry has had mixed sup­port from some of his fel­low sol­diers, amid re­ports that he had been strug­gling with his men­tal health.

James Glancy, a former cap­tain in the Spe­cial Boat Ser­vice, said Prince Harry had lost the re­spect of some in the armed forces.

“He’s done two tours of Afghanista­n. I was there for one of his tours ... He’s done bril­liant work in char­ity since he’s left the Armed Forces, es­pe­cially with the In­vic­tus

Games, but his be­hav­iour in the last year is not be­com­ing of some­body that holds these im­por­tant po­si­tions, these pa­tron­ages, in­clud­ing that of the Cap­tain Gen­eral,’’ he said on a UK ra­dio sta­tion.

“Every­body agrees that if he wants to leave these po­si­tions ... he’s ab­so­lutely en­ti­tled to have an­other life, and he’s en­ti­tled to live over­seas.

“But you can’t do this half and half. You’re ei­ther in or out,” he said.

The royal fam­ily il h has d de­nied claims that they forced out Prince Harry and Meghan. There has also been a storm over whether racist re­port­ing prompted Meghan to feel un­wel­come in the UK.

Home Sec­re­tary Priti Pa­tel de­nied that there was racism to­wards Meghan in the press.

Ms Pa­tel did not pro­vide de­tails about the cou­ple’s se­cu­rity ar­range­ments when they move to Canada.

My fam­ily and I are en­tirely sup­port­ive of Harry and Meghan’s de­sire to cre­ate a new life as a young fam­ily QUEEN EL­IZ­A­BETH

IF ONE thing has been demon­strated in the drama over Prince Harry and Meghan

Markle’s at­tempts to ex­tri­cate them­selves from the royal fam­ily, it is that the Queen is a first-rate prob­lem-solver.

Ever dig­ni­fied, some­times in the face of less than im­pec­ca­ble be­hav­iour from those around her, the 93-year-old monarch has shown time and time again that she is the glue hold­ing the roy­als to­gether.

Even in the face of a re­ported rift be­tween her grand­chil­dren and the break-away of the Duke and Duchess of Sus­sex, the Queen has played a re­as­sur­ing role.

Her state­ment, in which she refers to the cou­ple as “Harry and Meghan” has been widely in­ter­preted as an at­tempt to con­tain the fall­out.

Rather than be­ing a sign she would strip them of their ti­tles, the state­ment has been read by most royal com­men­ta­tors as an in­di­ca­tion of the per­sonal na­ture of the his­toric events for her.

In some ways, the Queen may have had lit­tle choice, given the cou­ple’s dec­la­ra­tion they would be sev­er­ing ties with the royal fam­ily.

But she has done so in a way that shows em­pa­thy to­wards Harry and Meghan, while help­ing to pre­vent fur­ther di­vi­sions.

ROYAL WAVE: Prince Wil­liam leaves the San­dring­ham meet­ing; all the heirs from The Queen to princes Charles, Wil­liam and Ge­orge; Harry and Meghan; and how the UK press cov­ered the meet­ing. Main pic­ture: Me­dia Mode

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